How to design a CBDC? Insights from Bhutan mission

Jonas Gross
2 min readApr 21, 2024

My recent CBDC mission to Bhutan has greatly broadened my perspectives on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) — also when it comes to the digital euro. This experience has led me to several conclusions when it comes to CBDC design:

1️⃣ A CBDC must always align with the preferences of the citizens. For instance, if privacy in payments is not a major concern for the public, and there’s a high level of trust in the government sector, there may be no need for the CBDC to offer cash-like privacy features. Failing to recognize these preferences of citizens leads to a misguided approach.

2️⃣ Tailoring a CBDC to suit the unique characteristics of a country’s economy and financial sector is essential. Different nations have varying monetary systems in place. In Bhutan, for instance, currency flow measures are enforced, which significantly impact the functionality and flow of wholesale CBDCs (wCBDCs). Moreover, with the Ngultrum being pegged to the Indian Rupee, interest rates are not a tool for monetary policy. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all CBDC design does not exist. So, one cannot simply use a CBDC design and apply it 1:1 to other jurisdictions.

Read the full article on my blog.

About the author

Dr. Jonas Gross is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Digital Euro Association (DEA) and serves as the Chief Operating Officer at etonec, a consultancy and prototyping company specialized in digital money and assets. Within his roles, Jonas guides companies and central banks through the complexities of digital currencies, facilitating the development of value-adding solutions.

With a Ph.D. in economics, Jonas is a global thought leader on central bank digital currencies, stablecoins, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. Additionally, he co-hosts the German podcast “Bitcoin, Fiat, & Rock’n’ Roll,” serves as an external lecturer at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and contributes as a member of the expert panel for the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum.

Personal website:



Jonas Gross

Jonas Gross is Chairman of the Digital Euro Association (DEA) and COO at etonec. Further, Jonas holds a PhD in Economics.